Golf

Golf, a game played on a large open course with 9 or 18 holes; the object is use as few strokes as possible in playing all the holes.

It's definitely true that golf as we know it emerged in Scotland. The Scots were playing golf in its very basic form - take a club, swing it at a ball, move ball from starting point to finishing hole in as few strokes as possible - by at least the mid-15th Century.

In fact, the earliest known reference to golf comes from King James II of Scotland, who, in 1457, issued a ban on the playing of golf and football (soccer). Those games, James complained, were keeping his archers from their practice.

India was the first country outside Great Britain to take up the game of golf. The Royal Calcutta Golf Club, established in 1829, is the oldest golf club in India and the first outside Great Britain. Because of the British rule, the eighteenth century saw a mushrooming of new golf clubs in India. The founding of the Royal Golf Club of Calcutta in 1829 was followed by the now-defunct Royal Bombay Golf Club in 1842 and the Bangalore Golf Club in !876. The Shillong Golf Club incorporated a golf course in 1886.

Golf has already been played in India for 59 years before the first major course was opened in the USA and Europe in 1888. By the end of the !9th century, India had a dozen golf clubs.

What makes golfing in India exciting is the diversity of its courses. Not only does it have the oldest gold club in the world outside Great Britain, but also the highest, at Gulmarg (altitude 2,700 metres) in Kashmir. There are golf courses in the mountains, plains, deserts and at beach resorts. The environment of each course is unique in its culture and history, highlighting all that makes India a diverse destination. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that one of the best ways to experience India is through its golf courses.

Gulmarg offers one of the most scenic golfing opportunities in North-India.

Most of India's courses are well connected by road, rail, and air, and have excellent accommodation facilities. Unfortunately, India still has to rely on the West for golfing equipment, and visitors are advised to carry their own sets, with an ample supply of golf balls.